Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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How to add a copyright tag to an existing image
  1. On the description page of the image (the one whose name starts File:), click Edit this page.
  2. From the page Wikipedia:File copyright tags, choose the appropriate tag:
    • For work you created yourself, use one of the ones listed under the heading "For image creators".
    • For a work downloaded from the internet, please understand that the vast majority of images from the internet are not appropriate for use on Wikipedia. Exceptions include images from flickr that have an acceptable license, images that are in the public domain because of their age or because they were created by the United States federal government, or images used under a claim of fair use. If you do not know what you are doing, please post a link to the image here and ask BEFORE uploading it.
    • For an image created by someone else who has licensed their image under the GFDL, an acceptable Creative Commons license, or has released their image into the public domain, this permission must be documented. Please see Requesting copyright permission for more information.
  3. Type the name of the tag (e.g.; {{GFDL-self}}), not forgetting {{ before and }} after, in the edit box on the image's description page.
  4. Remove any existing tag complaining that the image has no tag (for example, {{untagged}})
  5. Hit Save page.
  6. If you still have questions, go on to "How to ask a question" below.
How to ask a question
  1. To ask a new question hit the "Click here to ask your question" link above.
  2. Please sign your question by typing ~~~~ at the end.
  3. Check this page for updates, or request to be notified on your talk page.
  4. Don't include your email address, for your own privacy. We will respond here and cannot respond by email.
Note for those replying to posted questions

If a question clearly does not belong on this page, reply to it using the template {{mcq-wrong}} and, if possible, leave a note on the poster's talk page. For copyright issues relevant to Commons where questions arising cannot be answered locally, questions may be directed to Commons:Commons:Village pump/Copyright.

Removing Tag from File Description Page[edit]

Hello, one of my image files was tagged for not having any copyright info and other descriptive info on it. I have since added that info and now need to remove those tags. How do I do that? Thanks!ADunwoody07 (talk) 11:21, 12 October 2016 (UTC)ADunwoody07

Please be more specific. However, all your uploads appear to have copyright problems, mostly they are attributed to someone other then you. In that case we need the copyright holder, who is usually the photographer, to verify their permission by following the procedure found at WP:CONSENT. You also do not appear to have added an {{information}} template (click on the link to see how to use it) to each image that must have all the fields fillied in with all the appropriate details. If you want them deleted, so long as there are problems with the images as opposed to being properly licence and you just don't want them there now, you can add the following template to the images: {{db-g7|rationale=DeletionRationale}} (again click on the link to see who to use it). Most seem to be already tagged as problematic and will be deleted in due course unless they are fixed. Good luck. ww2censor (talk) 13:33, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Can this living person image be uploaded[edit]

Hi! I am Peterye2005. At Wikipedia:Plain_and_simple_non-free_content_guide#No_free_equivalent it says you cannot upload an image of a living person because it is typically possible for someone to take a picture of the subject and release that image freely. I was planning to add an image to Caroline B. Cooney. I could not find a free image. Am I allowed to upload one of the images on this page: which is copyrighted?

Peterye2005 (talk) 01:08, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

"I couldn't easily find one" is not an excuse recognized under law. If she is alive, then presumably anybody could just ask her to pause for a moment so that a picture could be taken. The images on that page are copyrighted, and we have no right to steal them. --Orange Mike | Talk 02:15, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that won't work. Images on Wikipedia, if not used with a fair-use claim, must be free for anyone to use for any purpose. Even those press photos are copyrighted and generally non-free, and as the name implies, they're "for the press" only, which is too restrictive. De728631 (talk) 02:15, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

I want to add this image to Wikipedia or Commons but...[edit]

I can't tell if the CC licensing is appropriate for usage here. This is the image's CC license: Creative Commons and this is the: Flickr image. There don't seem to be any other available images of Eliza Garfield, the first child of James A Garfield (she died at around 3 years of age.) It would be nice to have an image for her Wikipedia article Eliza Garfield. Appreciate any help - thanks, Shearonink (talk) 01:31, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Non-commercial AND no-derivatives; so that's doubly negative. I wonder if somebody else could go to the museum or gallery where this is displayed, and take a picture with a license we can use? --Orange Mike | Talk 02:17, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
If we can figure out when that picture was painted, it's likely old enough that it's in the public domain. Usually, photographs of two-dimensional public domain works aren't eligible for their own copyright, under Bridgeman v. Corel. If the portrait is old enough to be PD, likely the photo is as well. Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:31, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)::It's too bad that the Eliza Garfield article has no image to illustrate her short life, it would be wonderful to get an image for WP/Commons - the painting would seem to fall outside the copyright issues since Eliza Garfield died in 1863. So far as I can tell this painting is on-display at the James Garfield House & Museum in Mentor Ohio. I have seen a photo of Garfield with a young girl but that is of him & his daughter Mollie.Shearonink (talk) 03:20, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Orphaned non-free image - Local Government Official Logos[edit]

I have recently been adding official logos to Australian local government entries and have used the Non-free use rationale consistent with local government logos already added - however I received an 'Orphaned non-free image' notification for a number of my entries stating that they 'criteria for speedy deletion'.

This is very frustrating and disappointing as I spent considerable time and tried to ensure that I used the correct 'fair use' information consistent with other similar logos used for similar pages (Australian local government). Could you please advise what I have done wrong / differently to logos uploaded by other users that utilised the exact same fair use justification?

GreenguytroyGreenguytroy (talk) 07:58, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

@Greegnguytroy: File:LIverpool CIty Concil Logo.jpg is tagged for deletion because it isn't in use right now. I don't see any other file. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 08:05, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
@Greenguytroy: Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 08:11, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
@Greenguytroy: There are also File:Clarence Valley Council Logo.gif and File:Coolamon Shire Council Logo.png. None of the three is used in an article. Non-free content may be hosted only if it is used in an article. —teb728 t c 10:00, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
If any of the orphaned images are the current logos, then they must be used in the articles about that organisation to be retained, and if not, according to our strict non-free policy (#7) they will be deleted. Yes, it can be frustrating when you have devoted time and effort to this but if you are not familiar with the policy or guideline, it will likely only happen once as you will now know the reason. The advise is to not upload such images until they are ready to be placed in their appropriate articles in the infobox to identify the organisations. You may also find it useful to read my image copyright information page. Good luck. ww2censor (talk) 10:35, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

photo found on internet released in public domain without copyright restrictions (US Military[edit]

Hi everyone! Greetings! I have been searching the net for photos which I need to add on a Wikipedia Article (PNP Maritime Group). I found some articles and photos published by the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) on and with th following notice: "PUBLIC DOMAIN This work, PNP Maritime Group police conduct direct action training mission with JIATF West ODA Special Forces operators, by SSgt Chris Hubenthal, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law."

My question is, can I upload it on Wikipedia or Commons? here's some of the links:

and here's the copyright information:


DanRyan132 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Danryan132 (talkcontribs) 12:16, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Yes these are fine to upload and many have already been uploaded to the commons, which is where you should make any new uploads. I suggest you do a commons search first as there are editors actively uploading US military image from all forces. Many are also on Flickr and even though they often do not have a public domain notice they are and usually you can find the images on some of the other military media websites I prefer as there are usually more details there, such as: , , or Just make sure the images are attributed to military personnel as all their work is in the public domain. ww2censor (talk) 13:11, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Photo of Jerry Falwell Jr.[edit]

Hello, I'm looking into uploading a photo of Jerry Falwell Jr. to the article about him here. However, as is the case with most "higher-up" people, it's very hard to get a picture of him (specifically him after he grew a beard) that's not copyrighted. Is it possible to use {{Non-free promotional}} or another template on one of the photos from Liberty University's, press site? (I'd like to note that the "Photographing facilities" section on the Photos page seems to specifically apply to people actually going to LU to take photos, as opposed to just using the ones on the press site. Gestrid (talk) 03:31, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, no. Wikipedia has a firm policy that "Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created, that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose." Since Falwell is a living person, a free photo of him could be created. For example, if someone asked them, Liberty University might provide a free-licensed photo of him: the free photo on his father's article is sourced to Liberty University. Or someone might take a photo of him some time when he is off-campus and release it under a free license. —teb728 t c 08:11, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Can someone assist a Wikipedia project[edit]

Hi, the Women in Red wikiproject has been chosen as a finalist for a United Nations award. I think this is a big deal. The project runs in about 8 or 9 languages across the different Wikipedias. We are being judged against other projects who assist gender equality and we are in final five in our category. The organisers have sent by email this image File:UN Women GEM ITU finalist award.png and we have an email that encourages us to use it anywhere, but does not specifically mention copyright. I'm currently bouncing emails with UN's legal department to try and resolve the issue so we can load it to commons. The image at present has a delete tag on it. Can someone assist with with removing the tag? Does anyone know a route into commons? As I say at present I have an email that I can show but we will be judged in 3 weeks and OTRS I'm told takes months. Any ideas? I am an admin but as I co-founded the project I would prefer someone without COI to make a solution (if poss)Victuallers (talk) 16:47, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

The tag cannot be removed unless you either obtain permission or you can find a valid fair use claim that complies with all points of WP:NFCC. That said, even if the image is deleted it can simply be restored at WP:REFUND if OTRS permission comes in - indeed, it's the usual procedure for OTRS agents who have received permission. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:52, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
"Evidence will be provided upon request" isn't sufficient. If the image isn't clearly marked somewhere as released under a free license, that evidence needs to go to OTRS, who will verify that it is both genuine and that the copyright holder really does agree to a free license release and that they understand what that means. Just permission for "you" to use it, whoever "you" is defined as, isn't sufficient—permission must be given for anyone to use and modify it, for any purpose. The CC-BY-SA license is the normal way that's accomplished, but any terms that allow unrestricted use and modification by anyone will do. If they're willing to allow that, by all means, provide that evidence to OTRS and put {{OTRS pending}} on it. If they're not, or they're only willing to let particular people use it, or they're only willing to allow use on Wikipedia, it's nonfree and would have to pass all of the nonfree content criteria to be used in any given article. But whatever the case may be, it must be clear to someone looking at the image page what its copyright and reuse status actually is, hence why copyright licensing status must be noted on the page, not just provided "on request". Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:32, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Actually, this file can not meet the non-free criteria because it fails #4 (previous publication). I cannot find this image uploaded on any other website than the English Wikipedia. Unless it was previously printed in a paper source or published otherwise, it does not meet the criterion. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 17:37, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Another nominee has stuck it on Twitter here. Nthep (talk) 17:57, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Another reason it cannot meet the non-free criteria is that it fails #7 and #9, which say that it must be used it an article and only in articles: at present it is used only in project space. Even if there were an article, the use would fail #1 because use could be replaced by a textual statement about the nomination. —teb728 t c 19:28, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
@Victuallers: Seeing as there is some urgency to this matter perhaps you should post a request for an OTRS volunteer to handle it by asking at c:Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard. An active OTRS volunteer might be able to expedite it and you find their names at c:Category:Commons OTRS volunteers. Obviously if the copyright holder will no release it under a free licence you are likely out of luck. Anyway, good luck. ww2censor (talk) 19:32, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Wow what long answers thank you for your knowledge - I only wanted a solution. Thanks Ww2censor that looks like the best approach. I was deterred by the estimate and you suggest a possibility. Thanks Victuallers (talk) 21:02, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
@Victuallers: I hope you have success getting a free license, but, unfortunately, I have recently been in correspondence with a UN representative regarding some UN material. They sent a permission statement to OTRS covering a number of posters. link.
Unfortunately, they chose a license with an NC clause (no-commercial). I tried to persuade them to use one of our acceptable free licenses, while they tried to persuade me that Wikipedia should accept the NC license. We are at an impasse, but I mention this because it is my understanding that the use of the NC clause is common in UN work products.--S Philbrick(Talk) 19:56, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick: I don't know if it will help, but at least in the case of the UN ITU's GEM-TECH award under discussion here we are in the fortunate position of being able to point to a precedent for the UN releasing content under a Wikipedia-compatible license. In particular, the UN ITU has chosen to use the CC-BY license for the video announcing the 2016 GEM-TECH finalists. —RP88 (talk) 20:22, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
@Victuallers: you may also want to point out that it appears all the ITU images (maybe all 46,000+ images) in their own photostream at Flickr are licensed {{cc-by-2.0}} and NOT NC, and there are many ITU GEM images (though from previous years) that are licensed likewise. ww2censor (talk) 22:42, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Victuallers: If an authorized representative of the UN will either fill out a permission statement as show here:Wikipedia:Declaration_of_consent_for_all_enquiries and mail it to the email address , or better yet, use the Interactive Release Generator here to both upload the image to Commons and provide the permission statement, I'll make sure it is handled within 24 hours, not months.--S Philbrick(Talk) 00:03, 23 October 2016 (UTC)--S Philbrick(Talk) 00:14, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

As an important aside, one of the reasons that it takes months to process permissions is that most emails fail badly - some have a permission statement which literally reads "Feel free to use this in Wikipedia" (FYI, not acceptable), some have the right format, but they did not upload an image, some refer to a photo shopped version of an image available elsewhere on the internet, and a host of other problems. These are tedious to research and resolve, and result in OTRS agent burnout. When the upload exists, is linked in a properly worded permission statement, and is sent from an email associated with the copyright holder, it can be processed quickly, although some of these take time because they are literally lost in a sea of badly constructed requests.

Thanks S Philbrick!! - I'll send the pages you suggest to the UN legal department who are probably used to jumping thro hoops. This is an organisation on the change I think and we need to just assist them with this birth. My sympathies for OTRS. I must admit I load up 100s of pix and I usually tell the owner to load the picture for me - but as you will know they cannot understand why its so difficult. Hopefully the changes in copyright will assist us. Thx again Victuallers (talk) 08:26, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

CC-SA-2.0 question[edit]

This image is licenced under CC-SA-2.0. Is that licence compatible with Wikipedia, as I know only some files with this licence are. If so, how would I upload it to Commons, as the only CC-SA-2.0 licence option is for Flickr images? I know most Geograph photos are compatible with Wikipedia, but this one seems to have a different licence. Joseph2302 09:33, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

CC-BY-SA 2.0 - the actual license - is fine for both us and Commons. I dunno why the upload form does not believe that this license exists outside of Flickr. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:39, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, I've manually added the correct image tag. Joseph2302 09:46, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
@Joseph2302: The commons even has a special template for Geograph images that you should use. It's found at c:Template:Geograph. ww2censor (talk) 10:20, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately you cannot use the template properly just blank but with the required parameters it links to the image source and gives attribution to the author, which I have filled in. Also you should upload the highest resolution available, which I have also done at c:File:West Horsley Place.jpg. ww2censor (talk) 10:28, 23 October 2016 (UTC)